Select an aspect of the development of Magazines that you consider significant and evaluate your choice with appropriate examples.

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Francesca Bellis

MEP 112 Context

Select an aspect of the development of Magazines that you consider significant and evaluate your choice with appropriate examples (2000 words)

‘A picture is worth a thousand words’

Photojournalism is described as a form of documentary photography, that tells a particular story, but in visual terms. A photojournalist’s job is to document events as they happen.

One of the fist pioneers of photojournalism was an English photographer; Roger Fenton who documented troops in the Crimean War, although now these are considered more as historical documents than photojournalism. Due to the technology of photographic equipment at the time the action of war was impossible to capture, and so the pictures were never actually published as journalism, instead woodcarvings of the original pictures were made.

The Illustrated London News was the first magazine to include mainly images, with the first issue, published on the 14th May 1842; containing thirty-two woodcuts. The first edition included pictures of the war in Afghanistan, a train crash in France, a steam boat explosion in Canada and a fancy dress ball at Buckingham palace. However the pictures used were simply artists impressions of what happened, as no camera at the time could have captured action. Fig 1 shows what the front cover of the  illustrated London news looked like around the time when it was first published.  

 Before printing techniques were fully developed in the 1890s, woodcarvings were used instead; these would be engravings from photographs, which were then used to print a picture, which created a strange kind of image, onto paper.

 The first newspaper to print photographic news pictures, was The Daily Mirror, in London, and The Daily Graphic, in New York, after a means of photomechanical relief printing, was developed in the 1890s. The 1920s saw a large increase in the number of newspapers and magazines using photographs, Fig 2 shows the type of image used in the Illustrated London News, by Herbert Ingram. The magazine started by showing images, which would provoke meaning, for example pictures from the war. This one was included in order to campaign against child labour in the mines.

‘…over 150,000 copies were sold of the edition that reported the funeral of the Duke of Wellington. The Crimean War caused a further boast to sales and by 1863 it was selling over 300,000 copies a week’ (London Illustrated News) Internet

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The Daily Mirror was first developed for ‘Gentlewomen’, and its on its first day of publication the paper sold 276,000, the sales began to drop after this initial launch, and the owner Alfred Harmsworth decided to change the original plans and develop the paper for men as well. On the 2nd April 1904 the editor published a whole page of pictures of Edward VII, with his children , Henry, Albert and Mary. The issue was such a huge success, that Alfred Harmsworth realised the potential of interest in pictures of the Royal family.

The magazine that many consider as the ...

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